What I can expect from the boarding facility? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 28 Old 02-27-2020, 12:37 AM
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What breed is your horse? I noticed that some breeds cope much better with being fed less often. The standard around here is twice a day for our local farm mutt ďbreedĒ and Iíve never heard of those horses having trouble with ulcers or colic. Likewise Arabs (but itís a small sample around here) and Lipizzaners (a much larger sample). Horses which are prone to those ailments, Thoroughbreds and fancy sports horses coliced even when having free choice. So, if you have one of those types - yes, worry about it. If not - you have an amazing deal, maybe see how it goes without a hay net for a while or try one of those portable feeders even if the space is a bit small.

My yard feeds seven times a day but they are without food 10pm to 7am. The yard owner tried hay nets overnight but they all got very fat very quickly even with small holes so we collectively agreed that it wasnít a good idea. The horses we have are just not designed to eat all the time since their ancestors were fed twice a day only for hundreds of years. The few OTTBs we have are given a hay net overnight.

I donít think that ďalways have foodĒ is a hard truth for all horses. Just an example, Arabs are desert horses and were not even fed hay at all most of the time. They lived on dates and camel milk. The ones which couldnít cope were weeded out naturally.

Last edited by Horsef; 02-27-2020 at 12:53 AM.
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post #12 of 28 Old 02-27-2020, 02:09 AM
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Horses typically graze for 18 out of 24 hours. That pretty much leaves six hours of non grazing and more than likely, if left on their own, that six hours is not all at once. To say that some horses weren't designed to eat often is ridiculous to me. What they weren't designed for is standing around in a 10x10 or 12x12 cubicle for 10 to 12 hours. That is 10 to 12 hours with lack of movement that they were designed to do and that is why some get too fat, but getting fat is not the only health issue from this.

Personally, I don't even know how the B/O can afford to hard feed, hay, and do shavings for this price. It's like their time is free or at least a very small pittance for their work. I can see why they don't want you to give your horse extra hay. What I can't see is why they won't allow a net. Is your horse shod? If yes, that could be the reason. A shod horse can very easily get caught up in a net with the shoes. For now, I would just throw him extra of your own hay, at least that is another couple of hours that he is not going without forage. See if the porta grazer might work.
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post #13 of 28 Old 02-27-2020, 02:25 AM
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@LoriF horses as a species, yes, they graze all the time - in nature. When man interferes with breeding all sorts of strange things happen, like easy doers in this case. I am sure youíve seen horses which canít be left to graze as they please. Minis for sure, a lot of ponies... we even invented grazing muzzles because of it. Yes, itís better for them to have some food all the time, but if it isnít possi
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post #14 of 28 Old 02-27-2020, 02:42 AM
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@LoriF horses as a species, yes, they graze all the time - in nature. When man interferes with breeding all sorts of strange things happen, like easy doers in this case. I am sure youíve seen horses which canít be left to graze as they please. Minis for sure, a lot of ponies... we even invented grazing muzzles because of it. Yes, itís better for them to have some food all the time, but if it isnít possi
I somewhat disagree with this. Man certainly interferes with genetics to a point. But, they are easy keepers in the wild and always have been. They just didn't get obese until we started feeding them in a way that was convenient to us. They are easy keepers for a reason. Because their genetics always have been designed to travel far in rough conditions to search for food. They do find the food often but they have to travel far to find enough to sustain themselves. They also have a chance to slim down in the time when snow covers the ground and forage that can be found is not as nutritious. And, they also become laminitic at times in the wild as well even though they rarely founder. We did not make them this way. What we do is feed them in a way that their systems were not designed for.

I have easy keepers and they are out 24/7. They just are not out in rich, up to their knees pasture. I have to supplement with some hay and vitamins and minerals. I have one that I can feed pretty much anything that I want. Two of them grass only. No legumes of any kind including soy and no grain or they have issues. The one that I can feed anything to still does great on grass only with the vitamin/minerals.
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Last edited by LoriF; 02-27-2020 at 03:01 AM.
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post #15 of 28 Old 02-27-2020, 03:17 AM
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I somewhat disagree with this. Man certainly interferes with genetics to a point. But, they are easy keepers in the wild and always have been. They just didn't get obese until we started feeding them in a way that was convenient to us. They are easy keepers for a reason. Because their genetics always have been designed to travel far in rough conditions to search for food. They do find the food often but they have to travel far to find enough to sustain themselves. They also have a chance to slim down in the time when snow covers the ground and forage that can be found is not as nutritious. And, they also become laminitic at times in the wild as well even though they rarely founder. We did not make them this way. What we do is feed them in a way that their systems were not designed for.

I have easy keepers and they are out 24/7. They just are not out in rich, up to their knees pasture. I have to supplement with some hay and vitamins and minerals. I have one that I can feed pretty much anything that I want. Two grass only, no legumes of any kind including soy and no grain or they have issues. The one that I can feed anything to still does great on grass only with the vitamin/minerals.
I think you misunderstood me. Yes, itís better that they eat a little all the time and move all the time. Are there breeds and horses which can relatively easily cope with no food for 8 hours overnight? Yes. Of course, it would be best to have a horse out to graze on large swaths of lean land - but that just isnít realistic in most cases. I can either have a horse which is confined to a box 10-20 hours a day (weather dependant) - or not have a horse at all. Thatís what I meant. Our native breeds cope really well with being fed only twice a day. It is most certainly not the best way to keep a horse (and I wouldít do it) but it is what it is and they cope. Some horses cannot cope with that at all. Just like our natives canít cope with having food all the time and not moving enough.

(Sorry, my keyboard is playing up so I am making a lot of mistakes)
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post #16 of 28 Old 02-27-2020, 03:50 AM
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I think you misunderstood me. Yes, itís better that they eat a little all the time and move all the time. Are there breeds and horses which can relatively easily cope with no food for 8 hours overnight? Yes. Of course, it would be best to have a horse out to graze on large swaths of lean land - but that just isnít realistic in most cases. I can either have a horse which is confined to a box 10-20 hours a day (weather dependant) - or not have a horse at all. Thatís what I meant. Our native breeds cope really well with being fed only twice a day. It is most certainly not the best way to keep a horse (and I wouldít do it) but it is what it is and they cope. Some horses cannot cope with that at all. Just like our natives canít cope with having food all the time and not moving enough.

(Sorry, my keyboard is playing up so I am making a lot of mistakes)
I wouldn't do it either. If my choice were to keep my horse stalled 20 hours a day or not at all, I would choose the latter. Especially as I have almost no time to ride.

I think that is why the OP wanted to net her horses hay, so he can trickle feed. Eat less on a longer period of time. I really don't see any risk at all unless he is shod.

If I remember right, are your native breeds lipizzaners?

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Last edited by LoriF; 02-27-2020 at 03:57 AM.
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post #17 of 28 Old 02-27-2020, 06:05 AM
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If your horse isn't shod, consider using a Hay Pillow. Of course it may get peed or pooped on if not anchored someway in the stall. But the horse can still eat from the ground and the hay will last longer. You could get two, pre pack them for the barn staff to use so all they have to do is grab the hay stuffed pillow and place it in the stall. I would recommend putting some loose hay in on top of the pillow to start for getting your horse acclimated to eating from it.

Hay Pillow slow feed ground hay bags

As a long time horse barn manager I will say this: Most barns are managed more for time efficiency than budget efficiency. (Barns managed for budget efficiency feed the crappy hay, feed once a day, don't refill buckets for fresh water, don't repair broken boards in stalls, etc) When a boarder, no matter how well intended, jacks around with the daily schedule the barn staff is used to doing to getting all the horses taken care of, it's not exactly met with open arms (exceptions are medical emergencies, medical care or accommodating a new horse). Even if you say or put in a written contract that you will do all the extra work, what happens during those times when you can't for whatever reason. In other words, who is going to have to take the time to pull the extra slack out of the rope, so to speak. That would be the barn staff. And that is going to ruffle feathers. If you were paying $600/month in board that's one thing, but you are not.

Think of if as putting your child in an inexpensive simple but legally certified daycare verses an expensive bespoke pediatrician supervised daycare. Which one is going to be more accommodating to what you think your child needs to be healthy and happy? Say you want your child to eat only organic food meals, which one is more than likely to say "absolutely yes" and the other, well, an emphatic "NO".

When you board your horses, compromise is part of what you pay for, that's just the horsey life LOL.
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post #18 of 28 Old 02-27-2020, 07:13 AM
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Is she absolutely refusing, or is she just making a strong case? I ask because my BO often makes strong cases about things, but then when I am clear that I don't want to do it that way, she's like "O....K....." in that tone of voice that lets me know she knows more about horses than I do, and whatever I'm wanting to do is going to hurt my horses. We also had a disagreement about a hay net. It was a slow feeder net, so there was no way even the pony could get his hooves into those tiny holes.

I might ask her in a way that makes it really clear: "Are you absolutely forbidding me from providing MY OWN hay to my own horse at night?" Maybe at that point she would back down. And if not, then you would know it's time to start looking into other options.

Cheap boarding is great, but not at the expense of your horse's health.

"Saddle fit -- it's a no brainer!"" - random person
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post #19 of 28 Old 02-27-2020, 07:53 AM
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I missed my window for editing. I wanted to add that, like others have said, it makes a huge difference if your horse is shod or not.

"Saddle fit -- it's a no brainer!"" - random person
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post #20 of 28 Old 02-27-2020, 09:36 AM
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You could try the porta-grazer, OR try a hay net but put it up high enough, so no risk of it getting caught. I understand there are risks with hay nets, but I've always put mine high up enough.

If the BO is upset about you giving your horse extra hay (even though it's not 'extra', it's NECESSARY, she should be providing this) then maybe she needs to up her prices & she needs to understand that horses need forage.

For example. My old BO was cheap, & didn't believe in horses needing forage 24/7. Yet charged over $450 for board. EXPENSIVE!
Plenty of horses there developed ulcers. She would put them on a 12 on, 12 off schedule. That's how my horse developed ulcers. I moved her to a new place, now she has forage 24/7 & is also outside 24/7. She hates stalls, but I know everyone is different. I prefer my horse to be out.

I am also paying less for board, & getting better care. So it really just depends.

It's basic care, period. I wouldn't feel comfortable if my horse had an empty stomach all night long. They need constant forage. It's not worth the risk of ulcers/colic. Trust me.

I'd move my horse if this continues, better to be safe than sorry. The price may seem great, but the care is not. Up to you, but 24/7 turnout & forage sounds like a better deal.

Ride more, worry less.
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